Start thinking about gardens

With winter over and spring bulbs showing their colours, gardens can often do with a little attention to turn them back to their fetching, colourful best.

If you missed the spring bulb planting, get ready for summer.

Prepare those summer flowering bulbs now, as it won’t be long until the perennials reappear and the ground is ready for more.

Winter is hard on gardens, so it’s not surprising if yours needs a little TLC. Now is the time to tidy up borders and assess cold-weather damage, ready for a season of sowing and planting.

Have a general tidy up and remove leaves and debris. Once the ground is warm enough, mulching may help get things going. Help those bulbs along with a layer of organic mulch, but get rid of weeds first, or it won’t just be bulbs that benefit.

Now is the perfect time to get on top of weeding overall, while the beds are largely empty. Start as you mean to go on and you’ll be able to keep them under control throughout the year.

With any new planting, decide on the look and feel you are after – whether it is contemporary, traditional, natural or something completely different.

Choose suitable plants that radiate and which reflect your property’s personality, but before you rush, check long-term weather forecasts. Summer plants will stand a better chance if the last frost has passed.

Order early if you have a greenhouse and can plant under cover. If not, don’t get overexcited and plant too early.

Once the likelihood of frost has cleared, take seedlings outdoors and continue watering them in their trays. Do this for a week or two, to help them transition from indoors to the outdoors.

Watch out for hot, dry spring spells and if and when they come, water regularly, particularly as a welcome for plant newcomers. Give them a long soak once a week. Space this out to encourage the roots to explore. This encourages independence.

If you’re planning on transplanting any deciduous trees, shrubs or hedges, early spring is the perfect time. Tie up branches with twine to keep them clear through the moving process and mark the north side of the tree so that you know which way to orient it in its new home. Think of them as newcomers and water often while they re-establish themselves.

It’s a joy to see the garden wake up after winter. Spring is an exciting time - plan, sow, plant, and by summer you’ll be rewarded with a blooming beauty for both your own pleasure and the delight of potential buyers. A beautiful garden is a good introduction to a lovely new home.

For advice on selling or buying property, contact Fine & Country Market Harborough 01858 463747 or visit www.fineandcountry.com.